1963 Ozark Economy Run

1963 Ozark Economy Run

by Dan & LaVerne Craig

Economy (?) Run


The 5th Annual Ozark Economy Run put on by the Bartlesville Auto Club March 16 & 17 was a revelation to your reporter in that a great number of people go to quite some lengths to squeeze a mile out of a drop of gas. Lean jets were used, along with 65# of air in tires; fairings were formed with masking tape around projections on the cars to reduce wind drag; rear seats, bumpers and other items were removed to lighten; vacuum gauges installed, and probably a lot of other things done that were not obvious to the eye, Evidently some of these things helped because some phenomenal (at least to us) mileages were recorded over some hairy mountainous roads at fairly high average speeds.

bac 63fillupFueling at the start: Dan and LaVerne Craig stand in the left foreground.Visible in the photo are some of the varied entries; '52 Pontiac, Checker, '40 Ford, Sunbeam Alpine, Austin Healey, TR4 and Nash Rambler.

 The run up to Branson, Missouri, on Saturday was on a Monte Carlo basis which gave the driver and navigator time to enjoy the scenery. This was time to see anything but the twisty roads on Sunday. A tie for first place with a one second error was between Don and Sue White of Dallas and Richard and Marion Dunn. Second place was also a tie with a two second error. Third place was taken by our local visitor from the Hawaii Region, Duane Neimer with James Miller. Nearly everyone found the final checkpoint - a notable exception being two nameless local lads (S. F. and D.W.)


 "Team England" prepares to leave Midwest City. l to r: Mike Dickey, Margaret England, George England.


Rest stop at Midway point on Will Rogers Turnpike. Oklahoma Region entries, l to r: TR3 of England-England, Alfa Romeo of Butler-Butler, Mercedes of Flynn-Wood, Sprite of Neimer-Miller, Studebaker Lark of England-Dickey. 

After everyone got shuttled back and forth between motels and finally settled into rooms Saturday evening, the 160 entrants and about 40 workers met with a punch bowl and emptied it innumerable times. We then went through a buffet style line to pile our plates with a choice of T-Bones or fried chicken. (there were 100 steaks – we were#104 in line and had that good southern chicken.) Presentation of Monte Carlo trophies followed dinner along with a trophy for the greatest distance traveled, which was taken by our own Bill Roberts. Bill had made a wide-spreading detour by way of Frederick and Lawton, where he picked up Jack Witherspoon, and, all in all, traveled 744 miles. After presentations, they pushed back the tables, brought on a combo, and twisted til the wee hours. All in all "we had a party".


Streeter Flynn tries to apply some sense into David Wood as David applies the BAC plaquard to Streeter's Mercedes. That is Main Street, Branson Missouri, circa 1963 in the background.

Sundays Economy Run was as previously stated a hair-raising experience. To negotiate the Arkansas Ozarks at 40.5 MPH and later the hills around Spavlnaw Lake at 48 MPH in Sunday traffic meant driving practically flat out when you could find an open spot. Lunch stop was particularly well handled in a large cafe at Rogers, Arkansas, where they prepared a no-choice meal of roast beef, etc. that was excellent. Hard luck befell yours truly a short distance after lunch when we ran over a coke bottle and split open a tire. The Rally-Master stopped and helped us, but indicated that there was no provision for emergency time so we attempted to make up the lost 15 minutes...when we arrived at the finish two minutes late, we were dropped from 3rd to 5th place. We didn’t know that we were going to report this, so the list is incomplete, but this is the way we have them:


Class I Sports:

1 and 2 - Sprites (57.0 & 54.44)


Class II Sports:

I, 2 and 3 -MGB, MGB & Porsche (50.2I, 43.65 & 43.07)


Class III Sports:

1- TR4 (46.81)

2 - Stan Ripley & Ron Riede, O.C., TR4 (38.77)

3 – TR4 (37.76)


Class IV Sedans:

1, 2 and 3 – Renault, Renault & VW (65.18, 58.7 & 52.3)


Class V Sedans:

1, 2 and 3 – Rambler, Corvair & Studebaker (34.98, 32.41 & 32.36)



Streeter Flynn & David Wood; Steve England & Mike Dlckey; George & Margaret England; BlIl & Dorothy Butler; Bill Roberts & Jack Witherspoon, Duane Neimer & James Miller, and your reporters.....


Dan and LaVerne Craig

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